The .243 Winchester as the Ultimate Hunting Cartridge

.243 Winchester is a hunter's dream

The .243 Winchester, AKA 6×52mm,  was introduced in 1955 for its two most popular rifle models, the Model 70 bolt-action and the Model 88 lever-action. Winchester used a case from a .308 Winchester to create a bottle-necked, rimless, centerfire cartridge that was designed to control varmints. Designers reduced the case, necking it down to handle a bullet with a flat trajectory. They wanted to create something that would be able to kill larger varmints, like coyotes, that couldn’t be taken down by a .22 bullet.

An Instant Success

The .243 Win was an instant success with hunters due to its light weight. The 70 to 85 grain round proved to be perfect for varmint hunters. They needed a round that could take long-range shots, as long as 400 yards. Hunters targeting medium-sized game such as whitetail deer, coyotes, mule deer, pronghorns, and wild hogs use a 90 to 105 grain cartridge to ensure a kill. The .243 is considered to be the most popular deer hunting cartridge on the market, therefore it’s always easy to get.

Versatility

Shooters appreciate the .243 for its versatility. It is the first commercially produced round that covers both sides of game hunting. It uses soft point and power point bullets with weights ranging between 55 and 115 grains. Muzzle velocity ranges from about 2,800 feet per second (FPS) to 3,900 feet per second (FPS). The muzzle energy ranges from 1,700 to 2,600 foot pounds (ft-lbs).

.243 Winchester Ackley

Gun enthusiasts are familiar with rounds that have been altered by legendary munitions expert P.O. Ackley. Ackley was a famous wildcatter, writer and firearms expert. He was always after a larger case capacity, and began re-chambering his weapons. He used fireforming on various rounds, decreasing the body taper and increasing the shoulder angle. The result was a higher case capacity. In 1955, he created the .243 Winchester Ackley. The cartridge sported a 10% larger powder capacity with a slightly increased velocity.

Ackley opened his Oregon-based gunsmithing business in 1936. WWII interrupted the operation, and then he re-opened in Colorado in 1945. Ackley adapted over 30 rounds to meet his specifications. Some wildcatters honor Ackley by saying their creations are “Ackley Improved.”

Attributes and Benefits

Many hunters credit the round as the one used to take down their first deer. Shooters like the low recoil and low noise. It makes it easier to use for smaller or less experienced hunters to get a solid bead on their target. High accuracy made it a smart choice for the Los Angeles Police Department Special Weapons And Tactics unit to adopt shortly after it went to market.

While the .243 is popular in the U.S., internationally the round is subjected to UK’s Deer Act of 1963. The legislation restricts weapons and rounds during certain seasons. The law specifies a minimum bullet diameter of .240 inches. This makes the .243 an entry-level cartridge for legal deer-stalking. However, the .243 is available in other countries, such as Spain, where it takes the place of guns using restricted “military calibers.”

 

Collectors List of Best Places to Buy Antique Guns

Antique Revolver

Collectors are always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They want the rarest of the rare, the one gun that they can’t live without. We’ve all heard the story about that Picasso in the attic. Does that happen with guns? The answer: it just might.

The Search

When you’re looking for the ultimate collectible, anything can happen. The best deals can pop up in the unlikeliest places. Unless you are a seasoned collector, be sure about the items you buy. Not everyone is out to cheat you, but know the basics. Knowing what’s authentic can save tens of thousands of dollars. Newbie collectors should be educated. Know which maker’s marks are pertinent to your weapon. Examine the provenance. Check to see if there have been modifications. If buying from a private seller, know state and federal laws. No one wants to buy a gun only to turn it over to law enforcement. Investing time in research can be the difference between going home with a Mercedes or a Yugo.

Auctions

Places to Buy

Fellow Collectors

Gun collectors have their own community. Becoming a serious collector is made easier if you can find that community. Developing relationships within the group can be extremely beneficial. You can gain knowledge and get rare opportunities to buy guns before they go on the open market. Good friendships can form over common interests, but don’t be foolhardy. Even if you’re about to realize your lifelong dream of becoming the next Sgt. York, don’t buy that vintage Colt 1911 without an appraisal or before checking the provenance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Live Auctions

A tried and true way to buy collectibles is to attend a live auction. Each auction publishes a catalogue available to the public. It allows you to be able to browse the offerings beforehand. Each listing gives info on items for sale and makes it easier to decide what to buy. Reputable companies like Christie’s have been holding specialty auctions for more than a hundred years. Rare items may be easier to find, but can cost you. Auctions may be more expensive than buying privately, depending on the item being sold and the amount of interest. Don’t get caught up in auction fever and spend more than your bank account allows.

You may examine the merchandise if you attend the auction. That’s when knowledge is most important. If you have any questions, ask. There are sure to be experts everywhere that will help out.

Firearms auctions are usually advertised nationwide. Catalogues may be posted on the internet, giving you time to peruse before the event. If unable to attend the auction in person, you can bid as an absentee buyer. You may also be able to bid through an online service. An absentee bidder must have complete faith in the auctioneer, the process and the gun’s value. Due diligence can determine the reputation of the auctioneer and auction house before bidding.

Specialty Dealers

Looking for one specific item? A reputable specialty dealer may be your best bet. It also saves time if you don’t want to traverse gun shows or spend hours at auctions. A good dealer will have access to items gun shops may not. They also tend to be at the top of the list when a vintage piece or collection goes up for sale. Choose dealers with experience and a longstanding reputation. They tend to have the best connections and aren’t willing to risk their business by hoodwinking a potential customer.

Online

Buying online can be a blessing or a curse. Experienced collectors have been buying online for years. Some find it the easiest way to track down hard to find gems or rare collectibles. Buyers should be savvy to state and federal laws regarding the sale and purchase of firearms. A boon to the industry is that eBay prohibits the sale of firearms. That policy made way for several top sites to create their mark – GunsAmerica.com, GunAuction.com, and GunBroker.com to name a few.

Sadly, there are more disreputable dealers that reputable ones. Before buying, have direct contact with the gun owner. Do not work through a third party. Check references and ratings. Know the seller’s return policy and check out their ratings and references before laying down any money.

Online classified sites may offer opportunities to buy weapons. Seasoned collectors tend to avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.

Gun Shows

Collector shows aren’t as common as commercial shows, but they do exist. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals. You can see what other collectors and sellers have to offer. Chances are that you’ll get to see things you’ve never imagined. While you may not be able to buy, you’ll likely go home with a very long wish list.

Yard Sales

Yard sales often offer more than baby strollers and chipped dishes. People saddled with a garage full of boxes often put them out for sale. High end locations may offer valuable surprises.

Storage Lockers

Think buying a storage locker is a sure way to find treasure? Think again. Chances are you’ll end up with a pile of junk. Also, guns found in a storage locker must be turned over to authorities. Save your money and your time.

Estate Sales

Estate sales can be gold mines. Check published listings of items to be sold. Listings aren’t often too specific, but rare gems can be found. Stay until the end and  you could walk away a winner.

No matter which path you choose, be smart. Learn to do your own appraisals to save time, money and heartache. If that’s not an option, develop a relationship with an antique rifle appraiser. You’ll always have someone that can be trusted to steer you in the right direction.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Gun Collecting

So, you want to start gun collecting. You’ve outgrown your rock collection and stamps don’t excite you, so guns seem to be a good choice. There are many types of collectors out there, from the marksman to the history buff. Each with their own tastes and budgets. No matter what the reason, gun collecting is a noble and interesting way to increase your knowledge, make a few dollars, and decorate your man (or woman) cave.

Some experts will tell you to start with the basics such as a .22 LR, 9mm, .45 ACP, 30-06, and the like but it comes down to your taste and if you are collecting the guns to use, sell or display. Following are some of the types of collectors you’re likely to run across at your local gun show.

Heirloom

Gun collecting often starts with a gun inherited from a family member or perhaps a first hunting rifle. Heirloom guns may also include antiques purchased by the collector or specialty sport shooting models. Typically, these guns are kept for private use or for show although some, if valuable, may sold. Top choices for heirloom guns may include models that are antique or rare such as the Colt 1911 or nearly anything manufactured between 1900-1930.

Military/Historical

Military and history enthusiasts are often rabid about their collections and know their guns down to the finest detail and the name of the artist that incorporated the scroll work. These people are serious collectors. As with any kind of collection, it’s important to verify the history and provenance of the weapon as it directly affects the gun’s value. Whether it’s an antique dueling pistol or military surplus from Desert Storm, know your maker’s marks and get proof of authenticity before laying down your money.

Eclectic

Much to the chagrin of the hard-core collector, some people just like guns and collect them with no discernible rhyme or reason. It may make them more difficult to categorize, but no less valid. Eclectic gun owners tend to start with a gun they have owned and build upon that collection. Usually with something that is handed down or bought second hand. Although the owner of the eclectic gun collection is less likely to sell his collection, it is still important to know the history and use of each piece, if only for personal reference.

Investment

Guns make great investments. They aren’t based on the daily market and rarely does the value significantly decrease. Perhaps more than any other category, condition is key when collecting for investment purposes. As a rule of thumb, the older and more unique a gun is, the more it will be worth if it is well preserved, not refinished, and, of course, authentic. The worst guns for investments tend to be modern weapons such as the AR and AK-platform guns. Want to make the most money? Collect a particular style or guns from a specific manufacturer, e.g., Smith & Wesson to get the biggest bang for your buck.

 

3 Tips for the Novice Gun Collector

If you’re thinking of collecting guns, there’s a lot of information out there, from the most valuable pieces to add to your firearm collection to guns that are most likely to increase in value. But to the novice gun collector, it becomes overwhelming.

To make things a little easier, and take some of the pressure off, here are three tips to get your collection started, regardless if you’re spending $200 or $2,000.

Novice Gun Collector Tip 1:

Every gun collection must start somewhere, so don’t worry too much about that necessary first piece. While some people collect any and all firearms they can, most have some sort of theme to their gun collections. Some common themes include:

  • Historical periods, such as World War II era or guns from the wild West
  • Gun styles, like historic 1911s or flintlock rifles
  • Manufactures, including Ruger or Glock
  • Application, such as hunting rifles or self defense pistols

Other times, the collection may have a more general theme, like old guns or guns from movies. And remember, it’s okay for your collection’s theme to simply be “guns I like to shoot.”

Novice Gun Collector Tip 2:

If you don’t know what gun to buy, but want to start your  collection with a bang, choose a gun that’s either no longer manufactured or one that’s imported. Be sure it’s in good working condition and of a decent quality. Imported, high-quality guns almost always hold their value and those that are no longer available are only going to become harder to find, increasing their worth.

Novice Gun Collector Tip 3:

When you can, buy the best. That doesn’t mean you should cash out your 401(k) to buy a gun you can’t afford, it means when given a choice between an okay gun and a good gun, opt for the good gun if it’s in your budget. Again, don’t break the bank. Every gun in your collection should be two things: a gun you like and a gun you can afford.

Five Things You Need to Know to Get Started as a Gun Collector

Many people would love to collect guns but there are so many awesome guns out there, that you may feel overwhelmed. Gun collecting is a great hobby so don’t give up! We’ll go over all of the basics to consider before starting, and even go over what our favorite ammo is for using with your collection. We personally like Tula ammo.

Here are five ways that will help you get started.

Choose Which Guns You’d Like to Collect

This is the very first thing to do. You may already be drawn to one type of gun but if you’re a beginner, you need to narrow it down. One of the ways to do this is to research which part of history you like most. This could be World War I or II, the War of Independence, the Wild West or contemporary guns. If you’re drawn to historical weapons, check out Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values which is a must have for any gun collector. If you’re after something more modern, your go-to book is S.P. Fjestad’s Blue Book of Gun Values, now celebrating its 35th Anniversary in print.

Go and Look at Guns at a Gun Show and Join a Club

You can search for Gun Shows near you at The NRA website. You can also search for your nearest Gun Collectors organization from the same page. Gun collectors are very sociable and love to talk about their collections so you can get some great information. You will also get to see lots of guns so you can continue to decide which ones to concentrate on as a collector yourself.

Going to a gun club is a great idea because although you can learn a lot of information from the net, books and magazines, to fall in love with one you need to be able to hold it. Gun collectors love to show off their items so it’s a good opportunity to do this.

Sign Up for Magazine Subscriptions

Don’t balk at the cost. If you’re going to collect guns then you’re going to part with some cold hard cash so doing some research will save you a lot of wasted time and wasted money. The magazine websites have a lot of useful information too.

Try:

Ready to Start? Don’t Go Crazy!

For your first gun, try and resist the pistols owned by George Washington. A pair of steel mounted saddle pistols owned by him were sold in 2002 at an auction in New York for a cool $2 million.

Like we said, start small.

Lighten Up

It’s a fact that you will probably make a mistake or two along the way. Everyone does so try not to beat yourself up about it. Take it as par for the course and most of all, remember to enjoy your new hobby. Although we are sure that you will!

Don’t Forget That Guns Are for Shooting

If you need some ammo for your gun collection you need to look at Tula ammo. With the approval of Emperor Alexander II, Tula ammo was founded in 1880 and is still privately owned and going strong today. Tula ammo is known for amazing quality at affordable prices so treat your new collection to ammunition from this historic company.

Choosing Your First Gun Can Be an Exciting Affair

People collect a lot of things as a hobby. Stamps, coins and vintage artifacts are the common ones. But there are some folks out there who like to tread the unusual path by collecting guns and other firearms. It is wrong to consider such people as fanatics or someone to stay away from. Like any other hobby, gun collection is a passion shared by many. Most hobbyists do it for the history associated with the gun/firearm or just out of their sheer interest in guns. If you are also looking towards starting this as a hobby, it can get a little overwhelming to pick up the first gun for your collection. We’ll go over all of the basics, including whether or not 7.62x54r ammunition is right for your collection and how to choose the right ammo.

Taking the Baby Steps in Your Gun Collection Hobby

First of all, you need to choose the kind of guns that you would like to collect. They can be a part of the history like the ones belonging to the period of World War II or from the 18th century. Start from the events that entice you and start looking out for guns from that era. Once you narrow down your interests, the act of collecting guns can be made simple too. Research upon the guns used in that period so that you know what exactly you are looking for.

Read as many magazines or books specializing in guns. Attend workshops, seminars or gun shows. All these will expose you to the various aspects of gun collections, teach you more about handling them and ensure that you have enough knowledge that you don’t get duped. Talk to other gun collectors. They will surely guide you through the whole process and probably give you better guidance. You can learn from their mistakes and consult them when you purchase the first gun for your collection.

Make sure that your first investment is something small. Spending less would ensure that even if you make a mistake, the damage isn’t too heavy on your pockets. You may also like to invest in the right ammunition to make your collection complete—for instance, the 7.62x54r ammunition may or may not be the appropriate choice for the gun collected by you. Choose accordingly.

The Proud Collector

It will take some time to understand the nuances of gun collection. Don’t regret if you freeze your choice on the wrong weapon or take time to learn about guns. Over time, you’ll get the necessary experience and knowledge to become a master in the game. Once you cross that bridge, you can join the squad of proud gun collectors.

All the best.